DURBAN - AT LEAST five KwaZulu-Natal municipalities are ready to roll out Aarto.
Speaking during a provincial executive council meeting on Wednesday, Premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial cabinet had received a report on the commencement of the implementation of the Administration Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto).
“The executive council noted that the municipalities of eThekwini, Msunduzi, uMhlathuze, Newcastle, Ray Nkonyeni, Alfred Duma and KwaDukuza have been identified as ready to implement the Aarto system,” he said.
Aarto is a demerit system that will penalise drivers found guilty of traffic offences or any infringements. Demerit points could lead to a suspension or cancellation of licences, operator cards or professional driving permits. All drivers start with zero points. When the point limit is exceeded, a motorist’s driver’s licence will be suspended for three months. If the person drives with a suspended licence, they could be fined or imprisoned.
Once a motorist’s driver’s licence is suspended three times, they will have to start all over again - by getting a new learner’s licence.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the roll-out would be done in a phased approach. There would be four phases to the roll-out.
Phase 1 will run until September 30, 2021, during which seven Aarto service outlets will be established nationally, the eNATIS will be enabled to collect Aarto payments, and a communications campaign will be launched to educate motorists about Aarto.
Phase 2 will run from October 1 to December 31, 2021, during which 67 local metropolitan authorities will come online for Aarto processing, the adjudication process and Appeals Tribunal will start functioning, and18 more Aarto service outlets will be established.
Phase 3 will run from January 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022, during which 144 municipal areas will be added to the Aarto system.
Phase 4, which will begin on July 1, 2022, will see the introduction of the points demerit system as well as the rehabilitation programme for repeat offenders which serves as the backbone of Aarto.
The premier said the council welcomed the good intentions of Aarto, which include improving driver behaviour, encouraging motorists to be law-abiding citizens and reducing road accidents.
Zikalala said the executive council raised concern over the recommendation that Aarto stationery may only be sourced from the Government Printing Works at a fee.
According to the provincial exco, this move will undermine the possible job spin-offs which may accrue to the province if the supplies were sourced in KwaZulu-Natal.
The executive council delegated the provincial Department of Transport to engage the national department with the aim of increasing the appetite for participation and to educate people thoroughly about the Aarto system.